Gauteng Health Department braces for expected COVID-19 surge [video]

The COVID-19 surge in Gauteng is expected to peak from mid-August to early September.

Gauteng Health Department braces for expected COVID-19 surge [video]

The Gauteng Health Department released a breakdown for COVID-19 figures in the province, sparking fear that the Gauteng will once again become the epicentre.

However, Health MEC Bandile Masuku told eNCA on Friday evening that the spike was predicted, and is expected to peak from mid-August to early September. The department is currently preparing for the increase.

Increased efforts to prepare for spike in COVID-19 in Gauteng

Masuku said his department was working on a strategy to address the growing numbers while also increasing capacity to treat infected patients in the province.

In addition to intensifying testing and identifying hotspots, Masuku said that the health department is “bracing for the peak, we are not yet there.” He added that the surge in new cases was predicted.

“The surge that we’re seeing is an expected surge that we have been talking about. We still have to get to the peak. […] The numbers show us this is the expected increases we were planning for in terms of modelling”.

Beds, facilities and PPE

In terms of preparedness, Masuku said there almost 9 000 beds in both the private and public sector in the province, combined. His team is distributing an additional 1 400 beds, and they are aiming to 15 000 beds available when pandemic peaks again.

The department of health is also “putting up field hospitals to reduce pressure in facilities”, he said and added the construction had already begun on other facilities to expand capacity in the province.

Watch: Gauteng braces for increase in COVID-19 cases

He acknowledges that there “will never be enough Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for frontline workers, but assured added that it’s important to support staff in the provision of PPE where possible.

A call line and WhatsApp chat have been set up through which health care workers can request PPE and added that the department will “continue to procure PPE”. He once again assured residents there is “no need to panic”.

Breakdown of Gauteng COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries

The number of active cases in the province doubled in the space of just one week. As at 25 June, 28 746 confirmed cases had been reported in the province.

Of those, 7 132 patients have recovered. Unfortunately, 149 have passed away. In addition, 16 771 people have “completed the 14 days monitoring period out of a total of 25 803 traced.

At the time of publishing, a total number of 1 158 patients are currently hospitalized in public and private facilities. The breakdown of figures per district are as follows:

DistrictCasesNew CasesDeathsRecoveries
Johannesburg14 1821 290 814 003
Ekurhuleni5 938561321 479
Tshwane4 439380171 000
West Rand1 8971398540
Unallocated1 31310600
TOTAL28 7462 5921497 132

The allocated figures in the breakdown refer to confirmed cases in Gauteng which have not yet been allocated to one of the five districts within the province. The full breakdown of each sub-district can be viewed here.

Every month, Masuku joins a shift at a hospital in the province. This week, he joined the staff at the Maternal and Obstetrics Unit at Soshanvuve CHC. As per a statement, the monthly voluntary clinical work forms part of the commitments he made.

Source : The South African More